I read with great interest the article in the September/October 2015 issue entitled "My Son Has a Disorder That May Not Exist" by Melinda Wenner Moyer.
I felt as if she had somehow had read my medical records. I am a 48 year old male and my medical records are replete with statements such "has hypersensitivity in smell", or "feet", or "hearing". My PCP has been trying to understand why I react the way I do when touched or I hear certain sounds. I have been told since I was a small boy that I "overreact", even my wife tells me this. As far as hearing I have super sensitive hearing and the ability to hear from far away, though walks or to pick out a conversation across a crowded room. My PCP sent me to a specialist and he noted the hypersensitivity, but my hearing test came out normal. In short these are the issues I experience.
1) I have a hypersensitivity to touch on my feet. I can't stand to wear socks or shoes. I somehow manage better bearfoot even on gravel, or pavement. They do not seem to bother me. My wife is a nail technician and when she works on my feet, even to touch them I register that touch as pain. I do not appear to be ticklish on my feet as normal touch is perceived as intense pain.
2) Smell: I am super sensitive to smells, all smells. Although it bothers me greatly (I can smell blood from a distance even in a crowded room) it has proven helpful. At times when a friend's car was just starting to have problems I was able to detect a smell that was related to the issue before it became serious. But overall the hypersensitivity of smell has serious drawbacks.
3) Sound: Aside from the ability to hear conversations as I noted above I do not have to ability to "shut sounds off". Moyer mentions this on page 65, the ability to turn off the sound of the hum of an AC is called habitation. I appearently do not have the ability to turn off white noise (background hums) this has proven a serious problem at times, if a white noise sound is constant it soon starts to cause me intense pain. Another sound is glass. The sound of a glass drinking cup being sat on a stone counter causes pain when I hear it.
4) Moyer also mentiones coordination on page 64. I have horrible coordination when walking. This is not new with age, as with the above it has been present since childhood.
There are other issues I experience but I believe I have made my point. Moyer mentiones on page 65 that in a study only boys were used. It may be an affliction that strikes boys at a higher rate. She also mentiones that there is no data involving adults, they appear to manage it better. I believe in adults it is being packaged with other adult afflictions or as a product of aging. Most adults do not make the connection between childhood issues and issues in their adult life, they can't see the bridge. In my case these hypersensitive issues have been noted in my medical record but without cause or reason.
Lastly Moyer ends her article as I expect a mother would screaming for help for her child. That statement is not in anyway a dig, but it may have been more effective to end it reaching out to adults who have hypersensitive symptoms to step up. Instead of a mother drawing attention to her single child case, ask for the population to approch with their own cases or that of their child. More cases means more data means more proof means more grant money. I saw in Moyer's article the seriousness because it touched my own life. But the way she ended it could again detract from her goal. I do hope that serious minded persons will see this as a worthwhile endeavor and increase the research funding.
Author "Still With Eyes Closed"
Novel on current epigenetics